Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey

This one is another summer reading pick at my library. I was on the committee this year for choosing books for grades 6-8, and this was one that was recommended. I heard it described as James Bond meets Treasure Island, which sounded like fun to me.

The story begins as Tom's parents are about to embark on their first alone vacation in years - but after Tom pulls a knuckleheaded stunt, none of his friends' parents will allow him to stay with them. He gets shipped off to New York City to stay with his Uncle Harvey, a relative who, for some reason, doesn't get along very well with Tom's dad, but will do as a last resort.

Tom gets an inkling about why his father disapproves of Uncle Harvey when he learns a bit about how his uncle makes money. When Tom hears that his uncle may have discovered a map to a treasure in Peru, he blackmails him into letting him come along on what he hopes will be an adventure of a lifetime. He gets way, way more than he bargained for.

This is the perfect action-packed summer read, full of twists and turns against an exotic Peruvian backdrop. There isn't much character development to speak of, but readers will barely have time to care as the plot carries them along on a wild roller-coaster ride. This one is an easy sell to young readers at my library, particularly skeptical reluctant-reader boys.

Books in the Island of Thieves series:
1. Island of Thieves
2. The Sultan's Tigers

Island of Thieves (#1 in the Island of Thieves series) by Josh Lacey (Houghton Mifflin, 2012)

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